Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Smart Like a Spider?


Ginger Snap Cupcakes with Fireball Frosting: warm Fall flavors are featured in these cupcakes topped with a Fireball whisky buttercream frosting. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Outsmarted. By a spider.
Forget spidey sense, spidey sense may or may not be real, but spidey smarts is definitely a thing. A bad, scary, frustrating thing. 
But then I guess it is October, after all. 

Let me start by saying that the family who built this house did a few things I just don't understand. For instance, the master bathroom (which is upstairs) is large, and there's a window up over the bathtub. It's the only window in the bathroom and it doesn't open. The master bathroom also has no main door (there is a door to the separate room for the toilet within the bathroom). I put up curtains to at least block the light, but still, no door and no window that opens. In a bathroom. You pickin' up what I'm puttin' down here?
Same thing in the stairways, both up and down, there are windows there too. Letting in light is a good thing in my book, but they don't open. Now I do understand the one in the stairway to the basement not opening, it's just above ground level outside and could be an issue if someone wanted to break in. But the one upstairs would provide a lovely cross breeze on a spring or fall day.
We had a little bad luck, good luck situation a few years ago. 
We had hired a company to work on the siding on our house (thank you, woodpeckers). I was in the kitchen trying out a new recipe when I heard the doorbell ring. 

Ginger Snap Cupcakes with Fireball Frosting: warm Fall flavors are featured in these cupcakes topped with a Fireball whisky buttercream frosting. | recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Ginger Snap Cupcakes with Fireball Frosting
The man working on the house was there and he was upset. While working on the siding, he'd accidentally cracked our window. The one in the upstairs stairway. They'd replace it at no cost, of course. But I had another idea and had them source a window the same size that could slide open, and had a screen. For just $100 over what they would be paying, I could have what I wanted there. I'm in!
You may be thinking my back story seems to be longer than my actual point. You'd be right, but stick with me, I'm finally getting there.
I had loved, I can't tell you how much I had loved, having a window in that stairway that opens. Had. Until the battle of wits began.
Smart Like a Spider? | Picture taken by, featured on, and property of www.BakingInATornado.com
I went to open that window one beautiful fall day when I saw that a spider had gotten in between the screen and the glass and was building a web. Hubs got the spider out and puttied where he thought it may have come in. 
A few days later, I went to open the window and a spider had gotten inside. Hubs got it out and puttied some more. Spider, putty, spider, putty . . . my husband puttied the living daylights out of that window, but the cunning spider prevailed.
How can this be? How smart are spiders anyway? I mean, they're small insects, there's barely any room in there for a brain, right?
Smart Like a Spider? | Picture taken by, featured on, and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

IDK, but Google did, and here's everything you (never) needed to know about spiders. They're smart. In fact, the smaller the spider, the bigger the brain. Tiny spiders' brains are so big that their organs can be forced down into their bodies. I'd be fascinated if I wasn't so busy cringing, and shuddering, and gagging, and probably gathering fodder for some major league nightmares.
Just to prove their intelligence as compared to at least some of our species, Google had a few suggestions for me of popular spider questions frequently asked. The first one: Do spiders fart? Asked, I assume, but some deep thinkers? Taking time out of their busy day doing brain surgery to gather important spider information?
Bet the spiders aren't wasting their time wondering about our digestion.

My initial query did go on to let me know that there are recent studies that have found that spiders do actually display cognition. Perhaps those lucky researchers are the people who needed to know about spiders' gaseous releases? 
Whatever the situation, it has become apparent, both through my research and my unfortunate real-life experiences, that spiders are capable of plotting window stealing strategy (and farting too, btw).
So at least I can tell Hubs that he's being outsmarted by a smart opponent. I bet that spider would even stick his tongue out at Hubs. If he had a tongue, that is.

Meanwhile, though the war of wits may go on, for right now the spider owns that window. And I, once again, have a window in the stairway that doesn't open.

Clearly Muhammad Ali didn't finish his thought. I can do that for him: float like a butterfly, sting like a bee . . . smart like a spider.

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Ginger Snap Cupcakes with Fireball Frosting

Ingredients (makes 18 large or 24 average sized cupcakes):
10 ginger snap cookies
3 TBSP cinnamon baking chips
1 box yellow cake mix
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup milk 
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 - 4 TBSP Fireball Whiskey
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
NOTE: to make the frosting alcohol free, substitute milk for the Fireball Whiskey and add another 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 18 (or 24) paper cupcake baking cups into the wells of cupcake pans.
*In a food processor, crush the cookies and the baking chips to crumbs.
*Beat the cake mix, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, milk, orange juice, sour cream, eggs, and 1/2 cup of the crushed cookies for 2 minutes. Set the rest of the crushed cookies aside for garnish.
*Divide the batter evenly into the 18 baking cups. Bake for about 20 minutes (start checking at about 18 minutes if you're making 24 smaller cupcakes), until the center of the cupcakes spring back to the touch. Cool completely.
*Cream the butter with the remaining 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice and 3 TBSP Fireball. Carefully beat in the powdered sugar. If needed, add more Fireball 1 tsp at a time until the frosting is of spreadable consistency.
*Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. Sprinkle with the remaining crushed cookie crumbs.


  1. Yum yum yum (the cupcakes, not the spider)

  2. Spiders. They love my house, inside and out. Oh, cleaning out those webs, it's such fun. And now I know that they are smart, too. There's no hope. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    1. Well, the colder weather could bring some hope. I hope.

  3. Spiders don't bother me much anymore. I just trap them between an upside down glass and a piece of cardboard and take them outside.

  4. There is no correlation between body size and brain size or intelligence in humans. We have been proven this every day between 2016 - 2020.
    And now I have to google whether spiders have a tongue and a sense of humor.
    Lovely cupcakes :-)

    1. Ugh, now you made me wonder about that too. Maybe you should write a blog post about it.


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